It was announced yesterday that Spanish boss Julen Lopetegui will take over Zinedine Zidane’s position at La Liga giants, Real Madrid next season.
Zidane’s departure came days after steering Real to Champions League glory three years running. It is rumoured that he clashed with the Club President over Summer transfers and potential new signings. Zidane who is regarded as one of the best players of all time, won the World Cup with his home side France, the UEFA Champions League and also the Ballon d’Or. In 2004 he was named the best European footballer of the past fifty years in a UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll. After his retirement Zidane took up coaching, his first position as assistant coach at Real Madrid in the 2013/2014 season. Real Madrid won the Champions League and the Copa del Rey that season and Zidane moved on to coach Real Madrid’s B Team – Real Madrid Castilla where he stayed for two years before becoming the first team boss in 2016.
Zidane amassed serious success in his first two seasons, winning the Champions League twice, a La Liga title, a Supercopa de España, and both the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup twice. He was named Best FIFA Men’s Coach in 2017. This year Zidane completed a Champions League hattrick and set the record as the first coach to win three successive Champions League titles. Zidane has said very little about his shock departure or future plans telling the media “I’ve got my feet up and am feeling good. I don’t know what I’m going to do. The most important thing is the decision I’ve taken, the rest we’ll see.”
His successor Julen Lopetegui has been managing the Spanish international team for the last two years. He started his football career as a goalkeeper for Castilla in 1985. He played for a number of Spanish sides including Real Madrid, Las Palmas, Barcelona. Post retirement he began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Spanish National U17 side before moving onto Rayo Vallecano. Rayo terminated his contract after just ten matches which saw him enter the world of punditry instead. However he made his return to coaching in 2008 at Real Madrid Castilla before returning to national team coaching first with U19, then U20 and U21 before becoming head coach with Porto FC in 2014. He made his return to national coaching and his most influential position to date as the Spanish Head Coach. It has just been announced this morning that he has been removed as Spanish boss just two days till Spain’s first match against Portugal in the World Cup 2018 campaign!